5 Things One Foster Youth Wants All Teachers and Educators To Know


The journey of a foster youth can be a challenging and complicated one. Often, these children navigate through a myriad of schools, homes, and experiences that can leave lasting impacts on their lives. As teachers and educators, it is necessary to understand and empathize with the unique perspectives of these students for them to thrive in educational settings. One foster youth has shared the following insights that he wants all teachers and educators to consider.

1. Foster Youth Have Unique Challenges:

Each foster youth’s experience is different, but many face unique challenges such as adjusting to new environments, being separated from siblings, dealing with trauma, and coping with feelings of instability. It is crucial for teachers and educators to recognize these challenges and provide a compassionate, nurturing learning atmosphere where they can focus on their education.

2. Building Trust Takes Time:

Foster children may have difficulty trusting adults due to past experiences with broken relationships or unstable environments. Teachers and educators should be patient when establishing rapport with a foster child. Providing consistency, support, and a non-judgmental space can help a foster youth feel more comfortable opening up over time.

3. Show Genuine Interest in Their Lives:

When a foster child perceives that a teacher genuinely cares for their well-being, they are more likely to invest emotionally in their education. Simple acts like asking about their day or what they enjoy doing outside of school can make a positive difference in fostering this connection.

4. Be Sensitive About Their Background:

Foster youth may be reluctant to discuss their personal situations or feel singled-out due to the stigma surrounding foster care. Teachers should be mindful about not divulging sensitive information without permission or making assumptions about a student’s background in discussions with other staff or students.

5. Encourage Peer Connections:

Forming friendships can be difficult for foster children who often change schools frequently. Educators should facilitate peer connections, as having friends in school can help improve a foster child’s academic success and overall well-being. An inclusive classroom that promotes teamwork and peer support can encourage these meaningful connections to flourish.


Foster children face unique challenges and often have the odds stacked against them. By listening to their voices and being mindful of their experiences, teachers and educators can make a significant difference in each foster child’s life. Remembering these five insights, educators can foster an environment that goes beyond just academic success and helps cultivate resilience and emotional well-being for all students, including those in the foster care system.

Choose your Reaction!